Vault Festival – INTERVIEW – A Society

This week the Vault Festival in London kicked off and runs all the way through until the 19th March 2023. Over the next month, we have interviews with acts that are performing at the event. Today we speak to Network Theatre Company to find out all about the show A Society.

A Society

Dates: 31st January -5th February
Time: 20:15, 19:45, 14:30
Venue: Network Theatre

Hello! Tell us about yourself?

We’re Network Theatre Company – we’ve existed in one form or another since 1938 and we’re determined to keep pushing the boundaries of what fringe and community theatre can be.

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Vault?

I read Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto years ago and I’ve been determined to somehow stage it ever since. The title has since been backronym’d by others into Society for Cutting Up Men. When I came across Virginia Woolf’s short story A Society last year, it was remarkable to note how little had changed between these two satirical dreams of a world without patriarchy (and the present day!)

Tells us a little bit about your style of show?

Act 1 is a classic period comedy. Think Heightened RP, stiff backs, quick wit and no shortage of hamming it up. Act 2 could not be more different. We aim to capture the urgency and aggression of SCUM Manifesto in 10 short vignettes, without losing the satire.

What will your set be about?

Victorian drawing room collapses into abstract liminal nothingness.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Someone of Significance – romcom across the American political divide, just one of several brilliant shows to come out of the Young VIc Neighbourhood Voices programme Also delighted to see our favourite musical comedy duo, Stiff and Kitsch, bring an antidote to Valentine’s Day

Have you done the Vault Festival before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

Several of the team behind Ringmaster in 2019, including Director Dan Carter, are back this year. That modernisation of La Ronde was unlike anything we’d work on before. Entirely devised using Viewpoints, a technique to lead with the physical and allow character, intention and narrative to follow naturally. 10 archetypes of London society, 10 sex scenes in a circle.

What is the best thing about performing at the Vault Festival?

Using your VAULT pass! Go to Waterloo every night and see us much as you can. Exhaust yourself with the best new writing in the world.

What are your three favourite things about London?

The bubbles of queer utopia defiantly spreading their tentacles against the oddsThe dogged refusal to accept that theatre is a valid art form without a fourth-wall gimmickM&M’s World

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

The closing soliloquy of Pokemon Macbeth. Truly heart-wrenching. Such gravitas. Such darkness. I’m sorry, can you give me a moment…

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

2019 Lib Dem powerhouse Jo Swinson. The hoards of screaming fans would overwhelm Southbank. You can’t buy that press coverage.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

Insta: @thisplayhatesmenOr follow Network Theatre on Facebook and Twitter

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Masculinity is ridiculous.

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